Volume 35 (2010) Issue 2 Pages 263-266
This article reports the feasibility study to explore the application of cell electrophoretic mobility (EPM) as a biomarker for monitoring the progress of stem cell differentiation. The EPM of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) was measured using an on-chip cell electrophoresis system before and after osteogenic differentiation. The EPM of undifferentiated cells was widely dispersed and followed a trapezoidal-like distribution. After inducing differentiation, the EPM changed gradually into a bell-shaped distribution. It was noteworthy that the interquartile range (IQR) gradually became narrower with the progress of differentiation: −0.61×10−4 to −1.10×10−4, −0.89×10−4 to −1.19×10−4, and −0.64×10−4 to −0.81×10−4 cm2 V−1 s−1 at 0, 7, and 21 days, respectively, after the initiation of differentiation. Thus the heterogeneity of the cell populations decreased with the progress of differentiation. The result appears to reflect the fact that differentiation into specific lineages is the process by which stem cell lose their built-in variability, which is the basis of their multipotency.